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Pittsburgh Tuesday takes

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Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, 8:56 p.m.

Cleanup in aisle ... : The folly of government as grocer is rearing its ugly (and expensive) head in the Hill District. Costs keep escalating for the proposed Shop 'n Save store, and the Hill House Association, which is shepherding this project, keeps talking about the need for more public subsidies. There's only $1 million in private money in this deal. Private developers say such a store should cost no more than $8 million. The Hill District store's price tag now has ballooned to $11.6 million. This is a mess.

Say what?: A number of local school districts are considering selling advertising on school property to defray costs. But University of Colorado researcher Alex Molnar says the practices could harm the students' critical thinking skills by allowing them to accept without question advertising messages. Perhaps that wouldn't be a problem if our schools actually taught critical thinking skills.

Smart move: Allegheny County Airport Authority boss Brad Penrod says he'll lobby the Transportation Security Administration to allow non-ticketed visitors access to the airside terminal's Airmall. They've been barred since shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks. Given the security measures long in place, it only makes sense to restore access. And it should be a shot in the arm to the mall's stores, which once were considered a “destination.”

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